Australian grocery retailer Woolworths has reported a 21% increase in first-quarter sales to AUS$10.71bn (£4.33bn) for the 14 weeks to 1 October.

The group, which is Australia's largest retailer, also said that sales in its food and drink stores increased 9%, with like-for-like sales up 4%.

Michael Luscombe, chief executive of Woolworths, said: “We are pleased we have made a solid start to this financial year. We think the base we have gives us a great springboard into the rest of the year.”